While it might sound unlikely for tourists familiar with the intensely urbanized side of Milan, the city is surprisingly green, counting several tens of parks and gardens of different sizes. But while in Milan, visitors should not overlook a walk in the city’s largest green space, namely, the Public Gardens. Stretching on a surface of 172,000 square meters in the northeast area of Milan, the Public Gardens also stand out as one of the oldest parks of the city. Their history begins in 1784, when the authorities decided to lay out the first communal park. The garden, which resulted following the landscaping work of Giuseppe Piermarini, underwent important changes in time. It was twice modified in the 19th century by Giuseppe Balzaretto (in 1962) and by Emilio Alemagna (in 1881), as well as repeatedly restored in the 20th century (as well as in the early 21st century).
But these historical considerations aside, the park, while not exquisitely trimmed, is at present a pleasant refuge for both the locals and the visitors of Milan. It still keeps some of the original decorative patrimony and vegetation (artificial lakes, numerous statues and monuments – the statue of Indro Montanelli, after whom the park was initially named, is especially notable, even if realized no sooner than 2002 – patterns of alleys and the like), but, overall, its modern look prevails. The 18th century Palazzo Dugnani, the Civic Museum of Natural History and the Ulrico Hoepli Planetarium are, of course, worth visiting by tourists who happen to stroll around in the park. Keep in mind the park is also fitted with two dog friendly areas, with cycle paths and jogging routes, as well as with playing areas.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore of Milan is located in a piazza bordered, in the opposite site, by a row of columns dating back to the 2nd century.
The Public Gardens of Milan stand as the largest public park of the city. They are home to Palazzo Dugnani and to the Civic Museum of Natural History.
The Brera Botanical Garden of Milan is located behind the Brera Art Gallery. It was founded in the 1770s, and it is managed by the University of Milan.